In R. K. Narayan’s book Vendor of Sweets, the main character Jagan runs a sweet shop located in a fictional town called Malgudi, India. Several of Narayan’s stories take place in this town, like Swami and Friends and the collection of short stories entitled Malgudi Days.
Malgudi is a small suburban town, so small that Jagan thinks to himself that everyone in the town is “within shouting distance.” Despite its small size, the place is full of life and representative of traditional culture. Recall the scene in chapter two in which Jagan walks home from the shop. He falls into an introspective state and observes the sights around him. He sees things like parapets, donkeys, and vagrants waiting for dining leaves to be thrown away. These sights make him think about the nation's problems and also show the reader how traditional the town is. Jagan also observes the statue of Sir Frederick Lawley, a fictional British officer. By referencing British involvement in descriptions of Malgudi, Narayan highlights the significance of British control in India.
The sweet shop itself is located on Market Road in Malgudi and is often surrounded by young children after school. The narrator describes how these children would stand outside with satchels over their shoulders, gaping at the sweets inside.